Knights blank Predators for 8th consecutive win

(Field Level Media) Marc-Andre Fleury made 29 saves and recorded his 46th career shutout as the red-hot Vegas Golden Knights blanked the Nashville Predators 3-0 on Tuesday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

It was the eighth straight win for the Western Conference-leading Golden Knights, matching the longest win streak in the NHL this year by the Los Angeles Kings (8-0-0 from Nov. 25-Dec. 9). It also was the 13th consecutive game in which Vegas (27-9-2) garnered a point, as the Golden Knights are 12-0-1 over that stretch.

Reilly Smith, Shea Theodore and Jonathan Marchessault scored goals and Alex Tuch had two assists for the Golden Knights, who haven’t lost a game in regulation since a 7-4 defeat at Winnipeg on Dec. 1.

Fluery picked up his second shutout in three games, and he has yielded just six goals in his past five games.

Pekka Rinne stopped 28 shots for Nashville (23-11-5). The Predators lost for the fifth time in seven games and were shut out for just the second time this season.

Fleury kept the Golden Knights in the game early, especially at the start of the second period when Nashville fired the first 11 shots on goal over an eight-minute span.

Vegas took a 1-0 lead on Smith’s power-play goal at 12:10 of the middle period. Smith beat Rinne to the short side, sliding the puck into the crease and off Rinne’s back pad as the goalie was leaning toward Tuch stationed in front of the net. It was Smith’s 10th goal of the season.

Theodore made it 2-0 just 1:31 later with his fourth goal of the season, blasting a shot from the right point that hit inside Rinne’s right pad, then spun between the goalie’s legs and slowly slid into the net.

The Predators, taking advantage of a David Perron delay-of-game penalty for shooting the puck over the glass, had a six-on-four advantage for 50 seconds but never managed a serious threat as Vegas killed its 14th consecutive penalty.

Marchessault added an empty-net goal with 2:23 remaining after Nashville pulled Rinne with 4:20 left.

Vegas improved to 17-2-1 at T-Mobile Arena, the most home wins by any team in the NHL this season.

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